LITTLE ROCK – The ACLU of Arkansas issued the following statement regarding the Arkansas Religious Freedom Amendment (SJR14), which passed out of the House State Agencies Committee today.
“This legislative session has been a catastrophe for civil and human rights – and now state legislators are proposing a radical amendment to the Constitution that would subject Arkansans to even more harmful forms of discrimination,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “The unintended consequences of this measure would be severe and far-reaching, giving people a basis to challenge and exempt themselves from virtually any state law. If enacted, SJR14 would be among the most extreme of its kind in the country, putting Arkansas out of step with nearly all other states and jeopardizing our economy. Similar laws in Indiana and Arizona led to widespread boycotts, costing states millions in revenue. Religious freedom is a fundamental right, but it’s not an excuse to target, harm, or discriminate against people. We urge members of the House to oppose this dangerous and discriminatory amendment.”